Monks make amazing beer!

The monks of the Cistercian Order of Strict Observance, or Trappist monks, brew some of the finest and most sought-after beers the world has ever seen. These Roman Catholic monks and nuns typically run breweries in order to provide essential funds to the order. Before the current pastry stout craze, Trappist beers were regarded as the top-rated beers on each of the beer- rating sites, and still rank as world-class. The hallmark of the Trappist monks is that they “brew to live, not live to brew.” These men and women brew beer to support their charitable initiatives and support the life of their abbeys and ministries.

There are four distinct beer styles that Trappist typically produce, and each named for their alcohol strength: single, double, triple, and quadruple (or Belgian dark strong ale). These ales derive their aroma and flavor from the malt, the distinct Belgian yeast, and one notable adjunct.

Single: this is usually considered “table beer.” Singles are usually lighter in ABV and color but have a notable malt and yeast-driven flavor. The idea was to provide a beer that could be enjoyed with almost any meal and still allow the drinker to go about his or her day.

Double (spelled dubbel): Named because the monks would mark the barrel with two X’s to denote the beer’s ABV. This dark Belgian ale has an addition of candy sugar (Belgian beet sugar) that sweetens this beer which typically has aromas and flavors of raisins, dates, cocoa, and banana.

Triple (spelled tripel): This light-colored Belgian ale also has the addition of candy sugar. Noted for the three X’s usually marked on the barrel, this beer usually finishes around 10% ABV. The style is known for its sweetness, dry finish, and food-pairing prowess.

Quadruple: Once the other three beer styles were developed, the Belgian brewers joked that they should crank up one more, like when Spinal Tap jokingly has amplifiers that “go to 11.” Thus, the quadruple was born. This dark ale has a significant addition of candy sugar and typically has aroma and flavor of overripe fruit, plums, crème brulee, and sweetness. Typically, 10% ABV and above, this style has been the calling card of Trappist beers for many years.

Orval: One Trappist Abbey that stands alone in the brewing tradition is Orval. Located in the south of Belgium, Orval brews only one style of beer, and it is one all of their own. Orval’s beer is notable for its use of Brettanomyces, a unique yeast that is considered undesirable in winemaking. This unique yeast imparts a rustic quality in the beer and dries out the finish, leaving a mildly fruity, somewhat rustic, and very unique Trappist ale. The best way to describe Orval is to sample it for oneself.

We thought these beers were worthy of a celebration, so we’re celebrating the Trappist Monks’ beers! 99 Bottles will be hosting MONKFEST – a Belgian Beer event on March 4th .

All of the beers for MONKFEST will be carefully paired by our chef-team with delectable dishes of cheese, charcuterie, and accoutrement!

A five-ounce pour of each of the following:
Achel Singel
Westmalle Dubbel
Le Trappe Tripel
Chimay Blue
Rochefort 10

Ticket cost is $60/person+ tax & gratuity. Seating is limited. Tickets are required.
We will be sitting outside for this event, weather permitting…We are very much looking forward to this special event and hope you can join us! Ask our team for more information about Trappist beers! We love them and are very excited when we can get them for our guests. Our Team is always trying to bring you the best possible liquid to enjoy while you’re here or to take home. We take our motto that we’re “advocates and merchants of extraordinary liquid” very seriously and would love to talk to you about these beers on your next visit! Come in and try our curated tap list, our wall of extraordinary bottles, or our wonderful wine list today!

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